A website is a place to showcase your key selling points, products and services. A place to attract more enquiries and customers or, in the case of an eCommerce website, the handling of all online sales and deliveries. Your website is a shop window, so don’t let it get old and rundown. Here are 5 ways you can identify whether or not your site is due an upgrade.
Reasons for Upgrade
Functions and Features
If functions and features on your website are beginning to slow, become buggy or stop working altogether it’s a sign you may be due an upgrade. Due to the rapid release of new iterations of the most popular browsers and the new technology, they use can cause these issues.
The average website is usually okay for 4 years, simple websites can last longer, and websites which are technically heavy such as an eCommerce website realistically needs to be reviewed bi-yearly.
The more complex a website is, the higher chance that new technology and browser updates will stop a function or feature working as intended.
If things are not working as intended, it can leave a bad impression on customers and is one of the clearest signs it may be time for an upgrade.
I’m sure everyone has once visited a website that’s like looking through a window into the 2000s. Website design trends change so quickly that within a few years a website can start to look old and tired compared to newly released websites.
Keeping up to date with every design trend and new feature is difficult and with the way the online world is, if you were to do this, you’d be updating the look and feel of your site every three months. However there does come a time where things have moved on so much that it is clear that the look of your website is tired when compared to others within the same industry.
A website doesn’t have to be fully rebuilt in order to upgrade the design; if all features and functionality are working as intended then updating your design might be all you need. Updating a design is also a good opportunity to perform additional upgrades such as moving to a latest version of your CMS or introducing some of the latest security patches.
Clients requesting new features or functionality
Have you ever had a client leave feedback saying that it would be really helpful if your website could do XYZ? The likelihood is that if somebody has taken the time to leave feedback or request a new feature, then there are also other customers who feel exactly the same way or would benefit from this feature.
Taking a note of any features or functions requested from customers can be a great base for getting the ball rolling on upgrading your website and putting together a plan of how to give the customers what they want and need through your website.
Complaints about usability
If you are starting to receive complaints from users of your website surrounding the overall functionality, usability or look and feel of the website, it’s a sign that changes should be made. These complaints can vary from things like not being able to access certain features on the latest mobile phones or that the layout and design of the site is making it difficult to use.
It is important to make note of all complaints and ensure that they are taken into consideration to determine whether or not it’s time to review the current website in greater detail and get the ball rolling on an exciting new web project.
Expansion of Business
Has your business grown since your last website was complete? Does the site still represent your business in a way which meets the level your business is operating at? Whether you have branched out into new markets, increased your product inventory or have expanded into a larger property or have additional properties.
There is nothing worse than having a website which doesn’t match the level of your business. If you’ve seen massive growth and expansion but haven’t touched your website, it may be time to start looking at expanding your website also.
Types of Upgrades
Upgrading a site doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. When it’s time for an upgrade you don’t always have to start from scratch. Using what you already have can be a great starting point or, if you’re looking to leave your old site behind and have a new website, website projects can be an exciting opportunity to leave a lasting impression with an excellent website.
Below are some of the different types of upgrades you could do to your website.
1: A Brand-New Website – Starting from scratch isn’t always a bad thing, as it gives you the most amount of flexibility to create whatever you desire. Starting with new design, features and functionality, it’s an excellent opportunity to WOW your customers with a new site; you can also ensure you will be as up to date as possible with the latest security patches and on the latest CMS version.
2: A New Design – If your website is still functioning and performing to a high standard but the look and feel of it is starting to show its age, then a brand new bespoke design might be all you need to rejuvenate your website.
3: CMS Upgrade – Is your CMS not offering the functionality you require? Then upgrading to the latest version might be all you need to do. With this, you will also get all of the latest security patches available with the newer CMS versions.